Hearing Our Way: Fall 2014

Page 1

The magazine for kids and teens with hearing loss

things we l ve ming verco s

e bstacl

m a S t Mee

get rganized: everything you need for Back to school fun & games


Hi from Mel!

4 Things

We Love

6 O vercoming Obstacles

8 Get Organized 10 Fun & Games

Contributors Melanie Paticoff • Editor in Chief Valorie Johnson • Creative Contributor N-KCreative.com • Magazine Design Sam Mellert • Featured H W Teen With special thanks to H W friends: Evelyn, Jessica, and Miranda

www.HearingOurWay.com info@hearingourway.com St. Louis, MO Volume 1, No. 2 ©2014 Sophie’s Tales, LLC. All rights reserved. Hearing Our Way is published quarterly and is a publication of Sophie’s Tales, LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Sign up to receive a complimentary subscription for households, offices, and schools at www.HearingOurWay.com. For promotional opportunities, change of address, or other customer service, contact info@hearingourway.com. • All comments and suggestions received by Hearing Our Way become the sole property of Hearing Our Way and may be used without compensation or acknowledgement. Hearing Our Way disclaims liability for any losses or damages that may result from using information in this magazine. • Inquire today about sponsorship and advertising opportunities. Contact Info@HearingOurWay.com.

A Sophie’s Tales™ Publication


Dear Readers,

ited r first issue, and we’re so exc ou to nse po res the by ay and ow We were blown aw e to head back to school, tim It’s ay. tod u yo h wit ue s issue to share our second iss best year yet. That’s why thi ur yo it ke ma to red pa pre how we want you to be totally ready for homework time to sk de ur yo t ge to w ho m is filled with tips & tricks fro day of school! chlear implant for the first co or aid ng ari he ur yo e to decorat r feature article, I’m excited to share ou rting out organized Get Organized, on page 8. Sta ool year is the best way at the beginning of the sch g! It’s not just about to stay organized all year lon also about keeping your backpack or locker—it’s me. Check out my office your workspace neat at ho but keeping it unclutdesk—it’s not always easy, g done! How will you my desk tered helps me get everythin Seeing DREAM BIG on r? yea l oo it! sch for w go ne to reminds me get your space ready for the . ay HearingOurW a boy Share your pics with me @ ’s story but wanted to see lie Ju ed lov u yo t tha in story So many of you wrote going to love hearing Sam’s e u’r yo nk thi I ! ed en list a terrific on the next cover. Well, we lete, a great student, and ath an ’s He 6. ge pa on of Overcomi ng Obst acles ers with hearing loss. rt into advocate for himself and oth hard enough and put your hea try you “If s, say m Sa e, icl back.” At the end of his art yone or anything can hold you an y wa no re’s the , ing eth som your best, school year is that you try s thi u yo of all for h wis My anything stand in your way! give it your all, and never let



ief Mel Paticoff, Editor in Ch and maltipoo, Sophie

bols Look for these sym agazine throughout the m for special tips ! Hearing – Info about hearing aids, cochlear implants, and listening devices Talking – Tips for speech and language Self-Advocacy – Ideas for sharing your hearing loss story with others


Enjoy talking on the phone – confident that you’ll catch every word! CapTel® shows you captions of everything they say. It’s like captions on TV – for the phone!


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e w s g n i th inspirati n Stati n “ The most valuable part about you is your brain. Get an education… Your brain ma tters, so be the smart girl in the room. Becaus e, to be funny, you have to be smart, because you have to get the joke.” — Sophia Bush

k? ve L school loo re e o t W k c k a b Loo rock the perfect manicu hool-cool sc Want to rina’s — a ar implant decor ! t a K e k li Tr y a look ome special cochle hs paired w it

F llow THEM

ode Get into back-to-school m g on by follow ing @DoSomethin inspire Tw itter. Their tweets w ill your you to give back and follow to dreams—perfect themes t! make this year the best ye


l ve M vies with Miranda

by Miranda

Hi! I’m Miranda, a seventeen-ye ar-old high school senior from New Jersey, and I have a cochlear implant. I make a cam ✽ eo in the new movie, 95 Decibe ls, a short film based on my life that was written, directe d, and produced by my mother, Lisa Reznik. I’m excited to tell you all about the film!

Synopsis: All About the Film

95 Decibels is a short film about a young family and their hearing loss journey. After Sophia is diagnosed with hearing loss at age two, the fam ily explores medical options including hearing aids and cochlear implants for the ir daughter.

W rds, W rds, W rds Teacher’s Pet

The Idea Behind the Fil m

My mom has a passion for movie s and has written and directed two other films. She wanted to use her passion and talent to spread awareness about hea ring loss and cochlear implants. 95 Decibels sho ws what my parents went throug h when they got the diagnosis that I was deaf. It presents the struggle they and so many other parents face during the confusing early days of diagnosis.

My Recommendation

The movie is beautifully written, and it connects to so many peo ple. I would recommend the film for young people with hearing loss, parents, and profes sionals. It has reassured many parents that they are not alone and that there are other fam ilies going through this. It also helps young people understand what their parents ma y have gone through to make important decisions wh en they were younger.

The Final Word

The parents in the film choose a cochlear implant for their daught er, Sophia, the character who is based off of me . She goes on to be a successfu l deaf teenager in the hearing world, just like I am! Thi s film has helped so many people already, and I know it will continue to help and edu cate even more people.

To purchase your copy of 95 Dec ibels, visit www.95decibels.com . For more about Miranda and her life as a teen with a cochlear imp lant, follow Miranda on Instagram (@ Miranda_Meyers) and Twitter (@ mirandamdeaf).

✽ Cameo- a short appearance in a film that is often a special guest or celebrity

Language can be tricky, especially idioms, which mean something different than what they say. You might hear the idiom teacher’s pet used at school this year. Did you know that teacher’s pet has nothing to do with animals? It actually means ‘a teacher’s favorite student.’ Like this: “Katie always hands in her homework 3 days early. Maybe she wants to be teacher’s pet.” Psst… Teachers don’t usually choose favorites—they like all of their students!


ng vercomi


f Stories o Inspiring You ! e ik L s Teen d n a s id K

H W does Sam hear? With a golf club in hand, a positive attitude, and… two cochlear implants!

All About Me

Hi, I’m Sam. I’m a 19-year-old sophomore at Bates College. I’m originally from Hanover, New Hampshire and love to stargaze, golf, and listen to music.

Sam’s Faves! H BOOKS

Harry Potter Holes


Scrubs Boy Meets World Mad Men


Forrest Gump The Master of Disguise


Gumbo Hot dogs Grilled cheese


Golf Baseball TaeKwonDo Frisbee


Zion National Park Andalucia, Spain


My Hearing Loss Story

I was diagnosed with profound hearing loss at 15-months-old, very shortly after my older brother was diagnosed with severe hearing loss. I was a successful hearing aid user until 5th grade. At that time my brother had a sudden drop in hearing and received a cochlear implant. Seeing how much he loved it, I was inspired to get a cochlear implant, too. By 6th grade I had bilateral blue cochlear implants. Now I have Cochlear Nucleus 5 implants (no longer blue!). I was mainstreamed in my home school district all my life and had wonderful teachers who were very conscientious about helping me and making sure I heard everything.

Overcoming Obstacles

One time, I was participating in a high school golf match. In the middle of the course, my rechargeable implant batteries died, and my spare batteries were at home. I had to finish the last few holes completely deaf. That was a real challenge for me. Other than that, I’ve had to advocate for myself in the classroom over the years. One year, I had a teacher who told the class verbally what the homework was each night. I finally had to ask her to write it on the board as well after missing some assignments!

Day to Day

Hearing loss is a part of my life every day. Unlike in high school, students at my college, Bates, actually want to sit in the front row of class, so every morning I need to make sure I get a good seat by getting there early! During the busy lunch hours, I try to have my meals away from the noisy

with friends. I love staying active

dining hall, so I can hear my friends around the table. At night, I find that my hearing loss has a positive effect—I get to go to bed whenever I want because the noise from my roommate and dorm don’t bother me once I take my implants off!

Brotherly Love

Hearing loss has brought my older brother and I closer together. Even though we basically have opposite personalities, we share the commonality of life with hearing loss and cochlear implants. Beginning around the time of my first cochlear implant, I went to him for advice, wisdom, help, and just to share experiences. Our bond has grown stronger ever since.

That’s Just The Way I Hear

When people ask about my cochlear implants, I’m always up front and informative. I like to explain how they work, but almost always, people don’t really understand until I say something like, ‘they’re kind of like hearing aids since they help me hear.’

Putting Our Heads Together Every different sport I tried (other than golf!) seemed to require a different helmet.

Unfortunately, each helmet then required a different solution to fit my cochlear implants! My baseball helmet required a tight under armour cap underneath so that my implants wouldn’t go flying when I took the helmet off. My snowboard helmet actually required us to carve out a piece of the helmet so that my magnets didn’t push against my head or come off while snowboarding. This was a challenge, but never held me back from playing sports!

I’m the Expert

A lot of people don’t realize that you (the person with hearing loss) are the expert when it comes to your hearing. Most people don’t know much about hearing loss but are willing to learn. One thing I found incredibly helpful was to set up a meeting with all of my teachers as well as my teacher of the deaf (ToD). After the ToD began with her talk, I would open the room for discussion by explaining exactly what I need in order to be successful in the classroom. Teachers were impressed that I did something like that and

knew so much about my hearing loss. From then on, teachers would check in throughout the year to make sure I didn’t miss anything and to see if they should do anything differently.

Hearing Loss Gear

I’ve used many hearing accessories, but my favorite was a special stethoscope for my EMT (Early Medical Technician) training because I couldn’t use a regular set with my cochlear implants. After I purchased my stethoscope from Cardionics, I had an audiology appointment to create a new MAP that allowed me to hear the frequency of the heartbeat!

rt e p x e e h et “ You ahrearing loss.” of your —Sam


One Last Thing

My dream is to study neuroscience, attend medical school, and study to be a surgeon. I’m happy to say that hearing loss doesn’t stand in the way of this. I believe that if you try hard enough and put your heart and soul into something, there’s no way anyone or anything can hold you back.

My favorite sport is golf…

no helmet required !

Share your story of Overcoming Obstacles! E-mail: info@hearingourway.com

MAKE A SPLASH! Jump in the pool and swim in the ocean – now there’s nothing stopping you! Check out the Cochlear™ Nucleus® Aqua+ accessory designed to transform the Nucleus 6 Sound Processor into the only waterproof behindthe-ear solution.*

Let the fun in the water begin!


Cochlear.com/US/HearingOurWay * The Nucleus Aqua+ accessory is IP68 rated and is approved for use with rechargeable batteries and is not approved for use with the acoustic component. The Nucleus 6 Sound Processor is water-resistant with out the Nucleus Aqua+ accessory to level of IP57 of the International Standard IEC60529. ©Cochlear Limited 2014. All rights reserved. Hear now. And always and other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of Cochlear Limited. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. FUN2150 ISS1 JUN14

Ben R. – Nucleus Recipient


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ing loss .. but add in your hear t. en ud st y an r fo g in st n be challeng We break down the be g. in Back to school time ca lm he w er ov el fe ! d can sometimes ost organized one yet m ur yo and staying organize ar ye ol ho sc s for making this apps, gadgets, and idea

Make Your Workspace Work for You! Some kids do their homework in their bedrooms. Others work at the kitchen table or in the basement. Wherever you work, make sure it’s a good home study area for yourself. ✔ Limit distractions, noise, and mess. ✔ Put up a calendar so you can plan your assignments and study dates. ✔ Make room for your computer, notebooks, and other materials. ✔ Keep your backpack nearby so you can easily pack your completed homework. ✔ Add artwork such as an inspiring quote to help inspire and motivate you when those stressful times hit! Ever get frustrated constantly looking down at your paper and back up to your computer while typing? Keep this simple solution at your desk to save you time and headaches during homework time! PageUp sold at ContainerStore.com.


Color is Key • S tay organized by color-coding binders, folders, and notes. •M ake a list of your classes and assign a color to each. Take the list with you when you shop for school supplies. • P ick up additional color-coding tools like post-its, labels, and highlighters, too! If your laptop is covered with sticky notes, you might need a digital to-do list solution like the CLEAR APP. Categorize your tasks in colorful to-do lists…the best part is you can easily move labels around so your priorities are always at the top !

Don’t Wait to Advocate There’s a lot to think about before the beginning of a new school year. Don’t forget to create a self-advocacy plan. Schedule time to talk to your new teachers about your hearing loss and accommodations. Share information about hearing loss and devices with your classmates. Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher of the deaf or SLP for help!

Jessica says: “After I did a presentation about my hearing devices for my teacher and classmates, I wasn’t shy about changing my batteries in front of them.

They were interested and wanted to learn more! ”

One teacher prefers binders, one requests notebooks.

Math is the blue folder, science is green.

Bring these textbooks home, leave those in your locker.

It’s never a good feeling to realize your batteries just died... especially not during the school day! Make sure you’re prepared for anything with your very own device kit.

Try using a cosmetic bag, pencil box or case, or other small bag or box (that you can decorate) to keep all of your ear gear organized.

The most important part of your device kit is extra batteries. Be sure to refill them often!

If your earmold isn’t as snug as it used to be, a simple solution is ear cream, which helps reduce feedback, or whistling.

H W I Hear:

When I first started wearing hearing aids, I used to throw them off because I didn’t like the attention I was getting from other kids. Then, I realized how much I was missing out on. I decided to put my hearing aids back on and enjoyed my life more.

I would tell young Stephanie…

Tips & Tricks:

Ü Don’t assume anything. Ask your classmates and teachers questions if you’re confused. Ü When you go out with friends, pick a place that isn’t noisy or dark so you don’t miss out on conversation.

Devices with tubing can be more fragile. Keep extra accessories in your kit like this huggie. battery tester A can be helpful to make sure a new battery is good to go!

My Dream Career:

Confidence comes from yourself, not from comparing yourself to others. Do the best you can with what you have- that’s where you’ll find your confidence.

When your earmold feels tight or difficult to insert, ear gel can help.


I want to be a teacher for children with hearing loss.

Your Personal Device Kit: Never Miss A Sound

hether you’re on the varsity soccer W team or just running the mile in gym class, there may be times when your device just doesn’t want to stay on. Try some double-stick adhesive tape for extra stability when you’re active!

anie h p e t S Meet

A tubing blower is helpful when your earmold gets blocked up with moisture or debris.

You may already use a dri-aid kit each night, but it can also be helpful to have during the day if your device gets sweaty or moist.

My Advice:

Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something because of your hearing loss. Prove negative people wrong and shine on !

Stay Organized with Steph ! Keep a planner so you can organize important dates and deadlines, from your next math test to dinner with friends.

n Do YOU have a AN ? EAR GEAR PL eries

✔ Charge Batt ✔ Charge FM

tteries and other ✔ Put remote g accessories in ba

✔ Replenish ba

love Val says : “I t my knowing tha in device kit is k. my backpac any repared for p y ll ta to m I’ chored my bone-an trouble with e!” hearing devic

Interested in learning more about Stephanie’s graduate program in deaf education?

Visit pacs.wustl.edu


& n u f es gam is Try Tt h nized your room orga

sing Ready to ge his fun craft u ! t ry T l? o o h c aper rolls for back to s empty toilet p x and an old shoebo desk organizer with pictures,

is Personalize th ore. d tape, and m re lo co , rs ke ar m Instagram f your box to o s ic p d a lo p U ringOurWay ! and tag @Hea

hearing my Way by evelyn

Inspired by ‘Incantation’ in Tangled

Help what can’t be heard, Change the ear’s design, Hear the quiet sounds, Now I’m on cloud nine. Voices on and off, Speech I cannot hear, Batteries need changing, Now everything is clear.

Our voice Back to Schoo l Word Scramb le

ow esn’t kn o d r e h My teac nt’s name the e any stud of school ek first we ne. #besties i m except y #BTS

ocac #selfadv nts LossMome #Hearing ments ingLossMo r a e H # r Tweet you urWay ! gO to @Hearin

Unscramble these words to get ready for the new school year!

1. OLC SOH__ _

2. BIERDN__ _




_______ __________ ______ 4. MAERSKR ___________ ________ 5. RSC SSOIS ___________ ________ 6. ETAHREC_ __________ ________ 7. SERARE___ __________ ________ 8. COLREK__ __________ ________ 3. EOKONOB T__

Answ er Ke y: 1. School 2. Bind er 3. Notebook 5. Scissors 6. 4. Markers Teacher 7. Er aser 8. Locker


tion a c i mun air m o C Rep

Equipment Manager

SecurmeoAccotmions da

Never Miss a Cell Phone Call Again!

Sophie’s Tales is something to BARK about ! Paw-fect for back-to-school

RF200 Cell Phone Signaler

Stay notified of incoming calls or text messages from your cell phone. The RF200 flashes bright lights and sounds a loud ringer when it senses the vibration on almost any cell phone.

FREE Catalog www.harriscomm.com (800) 825-6758

Solutions for All Levels of Hearing Loss!

Sophie’s Tales: Learning to Listen

Sophie’s Tales: Overcoming Obstacles

Stories about a little dog doing big things to raise awareness about hearing loss and cochlear implants! available at:



4818 Washington Ave. St. Louis, MO 63108 TIME VALUE • Address Service Requested

c ntest corner

Having fun at the AG Bell conference Thanks to Jessica for her wonderful story about Sophie and the hearing doctor! g,

t, writin Send in your ar otos to ph poetry or

gour way.com info@hearin issue .

the next to be featured in


Kids and Teens had a blast at the creativity workshop this past summer… but the fun doesn’t stop there —

Connect with Us and Have the Best School Year Ever! F Like our Facebook page for tips and tricks on staying organized. T Follow our Twitter for inspiration and the latest news I Upload pics of your back-to-school look on Instagram

never miss a moment


HearingOurWay.com @HearingOurWay

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